Month: December 2013

A Closer Look at…Dexter O’Brien (Pembroke FC)

Dexter  O’Brien.

Born on the  14th September 1986. (27 years old)

Lives in Qormi.

Works in the AFM (Armed Forces of Malta)

Hobbies: Playstation and Football.

How did you begin to play futsal?

I  remember  that about  seven years ago a group of friends decided to  make up a team to compete for a futsal league. They asked me to join in and I accepted immediately.

What do you like  most in this sport?

Futsal is all about being continuously in action and there is a constant contact with the ball. You need to think and act very rapidly in a particular  action.

Talk about the teams that you have played with so far.

I began playing in the fourth division with  DHL Arrows. During that particular period we succeeded to gain promotion to the third division. The following year we changed the name to Fact Futsal.

Later on I had  the opportunity to play in the first division with Pentagon. Unfortunately in January, the team was dismantled as there was a shortage of players.

My next team was Todos. It was a successful team because we got promoted for the first division. At the beginning of the last season Todos were amalgamated with Floriana FC. Even the latter team didn’t survive so now I am playing with Pembroke FC.

How are you feeling with  Pembroke FC?

Well I can say many positive things about  Pembroke FC. I would like to thank my actual coach who gave me the opportunity to join this fantastic futsal family. In fact WE ARE FAMILY,  as everyone encourages each other, there is unity, dedication and clear objectives from all players and staff.

Your greatest goal in futsal so far.

My greatest goal so far was against San Gwann. I scored directly from a freekick  and I was overwhelmed  with this goal. Eventually we won this match 6-1.

What are your objectives for this season?

As a team we would like to  finish in the first four places of the table and qualify  for the play-offs.

And what about your greatest  wish.

I would like to win the futsal Premier Division.

Dexter O’Brien in action with Floriana last season

 

 


2013 Round Up: Balzan and Hibs hit the headlines

As we approach the end of 2013, this website looks back at the main events which characterized this year. It was another successful year for the FMA who is striving so hard to improve the level of Futsal in Malta.

It was a year which saw Balzan and Hibernians being the main protagonists with some balanced encounters between them.

2013 was the year which saw a change in the national league. In a council meeting held in late August it was decided that the league would be divided into two divisions: Premier (15 teams) and First Division (13 teams) instead of four divisions.

The main events that marked 2013 were as follows

19th February 2013

Premier Division Match: Balzan vs Hibernians 3-3

Title rivals Balzan FC and Hibernians shared six goals as their direct encounter finished in a 3-3 draw.

The stalemate kept things as they were at the top of the standings as Balzan and Hibs retained their status as joint-leaders with 27 points each, albeit the Reds have a better goal difference.

In a tight game, Hibs led twice but Balzan hit back to draw level.

Boicho Marev, who scored a brace, and Giorgi Gerasimov got Hibs’ goals while Basil Emeka, Nicola Del Re and Cosmin Anton found the net for Balzan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12th April 2013

Futsal Ref fairing well in Turkey

Futsal referee Franco Cachia received excellent marks for his showing in a European qualifying tournament held in Turkey.

Officiating alongside world-renowned Spanish referee Fernando Gutierrez Lumbrera, Cachia was awarded 8.4 in Turkey-Slovenia, 8.6 in Slovenia-Ukraine and 8.5 in Ukraine-Turkey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26th April 2013

Balzan claim KO competition

Balzan FC claimed their second major honour of the 2012-13 futsal season after claiming the FXDD KO, organised for the first time by the Futsal Malta Association. In the final, they beat Hibs 6-3 in a hard-fought contest at the Corradino Pavilion.

In front of a record crowd, it was clearly evident from the initial stages that this was going to be a thriller. Balzan opened the score through Basil Emeka but the Paolites drew level just before half-time following a Cedric Sciberras goal.

The contest remained fairly balanced in the second half before Balzan regained the lead w a well-taken Florin Anton free-kick.

Hibs, however, again hit back and Boicho Marev levelled at 2-2.

Balzan had Nicola del Re sent off but they still opened a two-goal lead following goals by Glenn Bonello and Emeka.

With three minutes left, Hibs pulled one back through Sciberras

Then, Balzan were awarded a penalty, converted by Bonello, and they sealed their victory with another gem of a goal from Anton.

Balzan captain Christian Micallef was presented with the KO trophy from Fiona Soler, FXDD general manager, and Donald Spiteri, the FMA president

 

 

 

 

 

 

24th May 2013

Hibs claim League title

Premier Division Play Off Final Second Leg

Hibernians vs Balzan 2-2 (7-2 aggregate)

In front of a record crowd at the Corradino Pavillion, Hibernians won the league of the Premier Division after seeing off Balzan 7-2 on aggregate. Actually the match finished 2-2.

The Paolites, fresh from their 5-0 victory a few days before, controlled their opponents and found the net from Blogovist Marev. Basil Emeka for Balzan found the net to make it 1-1. Balzan scored again through Alexander Ribic but Giorgi Gerasimov had the final say to make the score 2-2.

Therefore Hibernians won the first National League organized by the FMA.  President Donald Spiteri presented the trophy to captain Xavier Saliba amidst celebrations from all the Paolites supporters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

21st August 2013

A new format for the Futsal Leagues

After the council meeting held at the Corradino Pavillion it was decided that the National League will be made up of two divisions Premier and First.

After some clubs had decided not to take part in the following season it was decided that the Premier Division would be made up of 16 teams (Hibs, Balzan, Luxol, San Gwann, Qormi, Tarxien, Hamrun, Zabbar, Melita, Luqa, Mosta, Zurrieq, Pembroke, Vittoriosa, Swieqi and Birzebbuga). Eventually Tarxien decided not to take part.

The First Division would be made up of 13 teams (Zebbug, Fgura, Sta Lucia, Valletta, Gzira, Siggiewi, Sirens, Marsaskala, Kalkara, Mqabba, Naxxar, Qrendi and Msida)

2nd September 2013

Hibernians FC make history in Europe

Hibs Futsal  returned back in Malta from Finland. They competed in the UEFA Futsal Cup finishing second in a group of four. At the Malta International Airport they were welcomed back by a good number of relatives, supporters and members of Hibernians, who gave their warm congratulations for their historic feat. One could read the following message: HIBERNIANS FC FUTSAL THE FIRST MALTESE CLUB THAT EVER WON ABROAD AND MADE HISTORY.

These were the results of Hibernians in the UEFA Futsal Cup played in Finland:

Ilves Tampere vs Hibs 2-2

Hamburg Panthers vs Hibs 7-2

Hibs vs Gentofte 3-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28th September 2013

Balzan dominate and win Super Cup

In a thrilling Super Cup Final, Balzan succeeded to win the first title of the season against Hibernians by beating them 5-1.  Balzan were dominant from the beginning and managed to score two goals early in the first half by Emil Raducu and Nicola Delre.   Hibernians scored their only goal by captain Xavier Saliba and tried hard to bring all levels equal.  Balzan continued their positive transition and scored another three goals by Jovica Milijic, Glenn Bonello and Marc Areny Albert, which sealed their victory.

The temper was high and you could feel the tension on both players and supporters.  In fact, both teams finished the match with a reduced player when both Levan Kobaidze for Hibernians and Marc Areny Albert for Balzan were sent off after they received the second yellow card.

After the final whistle, there was the Super Cup’s presentation amongst the jubilation of Balzan’s players, staff and supporters present at the Corradino Sports Pavillion.

 

 

Liam Cachia: Futsal has helped me to improve my skills

Another promising youngster that is hitting the headlines in local futsal is Liam Cachia who plays with Luxol FC. Being 17 years of age Liam is slowly gaining experience in this beautiful game and is determined to achieve high objectives in the future.

Liam began playing futsal recently. At the beginning of the season he was approached by the Luxol coach to form part of the squad and he accepted without any hesitation.

“It was my dream to play futsal as I always considered it a very nice sport. It involves lots of skills, quick thinking and planning.”

Liam says that futsal has helped him a lot in 11-a-side football to develop his skills.

“I have improved in my agility and skills and this resulted in my development as a player.”

His objective is to play well and score goals. He is lucky to be surrounded by some experienced players. 

“This is a great advantage for me. I can only learn from them and improve further in my futsal skills.”

Liam even hails his coach and team mates who are very helpful and supportive.

“They believe in me and tell me that I have good potential football. This support gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

He would like to thank all the Luxol committee for believing in him, his team-mates and most of all his parents for their dedication, patience and support.

 

A Closer Look at…Vaughan Barnes (Kalkara FC)

At first he didn’t like Futsal. He couldn’t really adjust to it. But once he got used to this sport, he never looked back again. His goals are inspiring Kalkara FC to aim high this season. He is an Englishman and has been living in Malta for the past seven years.

Today we meet Vaughan Barnes.

 How did you begin to play futsal?

The first time I heard about futsal was when I arrived in Malta back in 2007. I was introduced to the game by Gordon Sammut and started training with his team. I found it hard to adjust to the playing surface and the ball and soon I stopped playing. I then started training with Pentagon but once again just could not get into it.

 Talk about your futsal career so far.

As I have already said, I really did not like the game at first. But this time round I seemed to have found my feet and nowadays I’m loving every momemt of it. Hopefully the love affair will continue.

 A moment you’ll never forget in this sport.

My greatest moment so far was the first win of the season with Kalkara against Fgura. That victory really motivated us to think positive and always aim high.  

 It seems that Kalkara are doing pretty well in the First Division this season…

Yes we are and long may it continue. We have put in the work done during training and we are finally getting the results. All thanks to Kevin Loughborough who gives us motivation, courage and strength to carry on.

And your goals are helping your team as well. How can you describe your satisfaction when scoring goals?

It’s really satisfying to score goals. Regarding my performance, in the first few games I did not score and then all of a suddenI produced two hat-tricks.But saying that I also get the same feeling from an assist or a good block. Therefore scoring goals is not the most important thing for me. I always like to talk collectively as a team. As long as the team plays well and wins I’m even more satisfied. 

Describe Vaughan Barnes in three adjectives.

Genuine, positive and confident

How are you finding life in Malta?

I love Malta, I have been here for seven years and I consider this country asmy home. I’ve built lots of relationships with friends and colleagues here so I’m not going back to my country that’s for sure.

What about your future?

Well I hope that I keep up the good form in the coming months and help Kalkara to place in a good position in the table.

First Division: Naxxar hit five past Sta Lucia

Naxxar  Lions moved into the fourth place of the table in the FXDD First Division after seeing off Sta Lucia with a 5-0 scoreline.

Naxxar enjoyed most of the initiative with Sta Lucia trying to react but never found the net. The Lions scored their goals through Glen Borg, Terence Dimech, Andrew Catania, Roderick Attard and Lydon Baldacchino.

Kalkara and Msida shared the spoils and produced an incredible match full of goals and scoring opportunities. The match finished 4-4. Kalkara’s goals were scored by a Matthew Buttigieg (2 goals), Vaughan Barnes and Duncan Bonello. Msida replied with Jonathan Brincat, Mark Pace, Alan Micallef and Aaron Calafato.

Fgura registered their fourth success of the season and climbed fifth in the table after a 6-2 win against Siggiewi. For the latter this was the sixth defeat of the season.

Balzan win again

Balzan moved into second place in the FXDD Premier Division after winning San Gwann 7-0. It wasn’t an easy win for Gabriel Dobre’s boys with promoted San Gwann offering a strong opposition. This was the seventh consecutive success for Balzan who are now three points far from Hibernians who played a game more.

Balzan’s goals came from an Emil Raducu’s hat-trick, a Zeljko Anicic’s brace and a goal by Christian Wismayer and Nicola del Re.

Before this match, Hamrun Spartans returned to winning ways after seeing off Vittoriosa Stars 8-2 to reach Zabbar and Melita in the seventh spot of the table with 9 points.

 

Hibs seal eighth consecutive win

Hibernians claimed their eighth consecutive win in the FXDD Premier Division after outclassing Birzebbuga 11-0.

It was a match which was completely dominated by the Paolites who scored their goals through a hat-trick by David Bobokhidze, two braces by Melvin Borg and Jesmond Micallef and a goal by Xavier Saliba, Matthew Attard, Darren Agius and Georgi Gerasimov. The latter played his last match with Hibernians.

It was a match which was also marred by two red cards after some incidents that occurred at the beginning of the second half. Consequently David Bobokhidze (Hibs) and Noel Tabone (B’Buga) were given the marching orders by the referee.

With this success Hibernians return back as sole leaders of the table with 24 points although playing a game more than second-placed Luxol and two more than third placed Balzan who play San Gwann tomorrow.

Before this match, Qormi had managed a 10-4 win against Swieqi to bounce sixth in the table. Qormi took the upperhand in the first half wasting a lot of chances in front of goal.

The player of the match was definitely Qormi’s player Ismail Achami who scored five goals and created lots of goal scoring opportunities. The other goals were scored by Jonathan Debono, Hubert Gatt Bonello, Andre Mamo, Allen Medati and Gary Zerafa.

Swieqi replied with a brace by Martin Sammut, Andrew Coleiro and an own goal by Achami.

Last second goal gives Luqa a dramatic win

A goal by Justin Muscat, 1.1 seconds from the end, gave Luqa a dramatic win against Melita to move further up in the table. Luqa won this match 6-5.

It was an exciting game that left all those present at the Corradino Pavillion on tenterhooks. Melita took the upperhand in the first half scoring four consecutive goals.

Luqa scored 2 goals before half time to make the score 4-2. 

But as the second half started,  Melita scored their fifth goal. This proved to be Luqa’s injection as they produced an incredible comeback by scoring three successive goals to level the matters.

As the score was 5-5, it was Justin Muscat who found the net for Luqa to clinch the winner 1.1 seconds from the end. A brace by Andrew Scerri and  another goal by Justin Muscat, Isaac Delmar and Chris Cardona completed the mission for Luqa.



I want to score important goals – Dario Zampa

Seventeen year old Dario Arran Zampa made his official debut with Luxol FC yesterday in the match that his team played against Pembroke. Although playing only a few minutes in the second half, young Dario was still elated to be given this golden opportunity.

“When the coach decided to give me this chance I was a bit nervous at first but after a couple of minutes I gained confidence and I succeeded to win several balls,” he said after the match.

Asked about his futsal career, Dario told me that he began playing this sport a year ago, when his cousin Stefano Zampa who played with Valletta, suggested him to go for a trial with the citizens.

“I played some friendlies with Valletta, I really felt comfortable and succeeded to score goals as well.”

I decided to sign with Valletta. I can still remember my first league match against Zejtun.”

Luck was on Dario’s side as after this game the national coach called him for a friendly as well.

“National coach Kevin Mifsud really helped me and patiently taught me this wonderful game. He managed to transmit a lot of confidence in me and most importantly never to give up.”

“My first coach was Kevin Loughborough, whom I would like to thank for the opportunity he had given me.”

This season he signed with football side Luxol.

“After some time our current team manager told me to join his futsal team for this campaign. I accepted without any hesitation.”

Yesterday’s debut was certainly a step forward in the right direction. Asked about his future, he promptly answered

“My objective is to become a professional futsal player and score important goals.”

 

 

 

Luxol win and claim top spot

Luxol showed more great form in the FXDD Premier Division after seeing off Pembroke with a 7-3 scoreline to claim the top spot together with Hibernians.

Now unbeaten in 7 league games, Luxol scored their first goal after 30 seconds to pave the way for their success. On the other hand, Pembroke, fifth in the table, offered a mighty performance with keeper Bernard Camilleri pulling off some wonderful saves to keep his team in the match and operating on swift counter-attacks with Wayne Muscat and Floren Manea being the most dangerous.

Luxol’s goals were scored by Eslam Khalifa, who scored a hat-trick, a brace by William Barbosa and two goals by Ibrahim Tarek and Dean Gera. A brace by Wayne Muscat and a goal by Kenneth Ekezie reduced the arrears for Pembroke.

During this match, youngster Dario Arran Zampa, seventeen years of age, made his official debut with Luxol.

Before this match, Zabbar had managed to win 8-3 against Zurrieq to claim the sixth position in the table with 9 points. Three braces by Omar Toutoungi, Rosen Filipov, Rowen Camilleri and a goal by Nikolay Filipov and Matthew Xerri scored the goals that mattered for the Zabbar side.

The FXDD Premier Division continues today at the Corradino Pavillion:

19.45 hrs : Melita vs Luqa